The alumni of the Ivey Business School are once again supporting their alma mater, as Gilles Ouellette (HBA’69, MBA’70), president and chief executive officer (private client group) for BMO Financial Group, presented a $2 million gift to the school in support of its new building. In recognition of the donation, the main auditorium in Ivey’s new building – a two-level, 7,200 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that seats up to 640 people – will be named the BMO Financial Group Auditorium.
The gift enhances BMO’s support of Western’s $750 million Be Extraordinary fundraising campaign and Ivey’s Campaign for Leadership, which will generate a $200 million investment in Ivey.
“I’m pleased to be here today to make this donation on behalf of BMO Financial Group and, in particular, on behalf of the many Western and Ivey alumni at BMO who currently work at BMO or have in the past and have benefitted from this dynamic learning institution,” Ouellette said. “BMO believes in professional growth and achievement through continuous learning and access to education. Today’s donation is a testament to our longstanding and valued partnership with the Ivey Business School.”
The BMO Financial Group Auditorium is a two-level, 7,200 square foot, state-of-the-art facility, which seats up to 640 people. It features the latest in videoconferencing technology and will be used for milestone special occasions such as Homecoming and the Ivey Ring Tradition Ceremony. Throughout the year, the auditorium will host distinguished speakers, not only for students but also for faculty who will lead symposiums and other academic and practitioner forums.
“We deeply appreciate BMO’s commitment to business education. The BMO Financial Group Auditorium will be an inspirational place of knowledge sharing, collaboration and learning. It is a tangible symbol of the academic excellence Western and Ivey have achieved over the decades,” said Carol Stephenson, Ivey dean. “This is a place where our students will learn and hone their skills as they prepare to become Canada’s next generation of global leaders.”
BMO Financial Group has maintained a deep relationship with Western for more than a century and has donated more than $6 million to the university. Thousands of Western graduates have built careers within the bank at its most senior levels, and feel a deep, personal commitment to strengthen this partnership by serving on advisory boards and councils, giving generously of their time and expertise as well as providing financial support, Stephenson said.
“We are grateful for BMO’s extraordinary commitment to Ivey, and to Western,” said Amit Chakma, Western’s president and vice-chancellor. “BMO’s gifts have a direct impact on our students, through generous support of scholarships and the Bank of Montreal Professorship, as well as on the health of Canadians, through support of brain disorder and cardiovascular research. Today’s gift is particularly heartening, because of the contributions made by Western alumni, now employed at BMO Financial Group.”
Don Johnson, MBA’63, LLD’07, former vice-chairman, investment banking, BMO Nesbitt Burns, pledged $150,000 and challenged all BMO Ivey alumni to consider a gift he would match in support of the new building. Ouellette and Eric Tripp, MBA’83, president, investment banking group, BMO Capital Markets, met Johnson’s challenge to provide a 2-to-1 match on BMO alumni gifts. To date, 24 BMO alumni responded raising an additional $450,000 for Ivey’s new home.